This is an affiliate post, but opinions are 100% my own.

“Shop local” is something we hear a lot in the Downeast Maine region- it’s also become a bit of a national thing. Where I live on MDI is really no different. We have a lot of small businesses that depend on tourism and, to be honest, the year-round folks. Around the holiday season, unless the person I’m shopping for has a specific “thing” that they’ve asked for, I tend to find local solutions for my gift-giving.

For example, since both of my parents are more into experience-centered gifts rather than “things,” my brother and I came up with a new restaurant for them to try every Mother’s Day/Father’s Day/Birthday for a few years. But, since many of these places were local and didn’t necessarily have websites or payment processing online, it was up to me to go into each restaurant and physically purchase a gift certificate (my parent’s schedules are still baffling to me, so it’s easier to do this rather than make a reservation on their behalf). I’d have to find time either on a lunch break or after work to accomplish this, eating up my free time running around Downeast Maine. Luckily, my parents are worth it.

Something like Gift MDI would have been insanely helpful back in those days, but hey, it’s here now and I’m excited!

Gift MDI has a few different goals, but they all work together to create a win-win-win scenario. For local businesses, Gift MDI takes care of marketing efforts and handles the customer service end of things (answering questions, shipping, etc). For customers, Gift MDI offers the convenience of shopping locally without having to leave your home. You can also send a gift certificate for a massage to your sister who lives in NYC for when she comes to visit and a gift certificate for a phone screen repair to your friend in Trenton who always has a cracked screen, in the same transaction. For the local community, the goal is to put $100,000 into the economy that wasn’t there before by Memorial Day 2018.

There’s a gift option too- with greeting cards made by locals- to add a personal touch. Below are the three different “styles” of cards, made by Jennifer Booher, Breaking Even Communications (illustrated by Jill Lee), and yours truly 🙂

Green Seashell Snowflake Greeting Card

Park Downtown In August Greeting Card

Shore Path Sunset Greeting Card

But the cool part is the shop, right? So far there are 16 businesses signed on with a few more in the works. If you’re not entirely sure what the person you’re shopping for would like, you can shop by town, recipient (“person who has everything,” “health nut,” “grandparent,” etc), or type of business for suggestions. I love not having to use all my mental energy to figure out what to get someone.

If I were to give something…

I’d probably give my dad a gift certificate to Brown Family Farm. They offer all natural USDA pork (whole roaster pigs, custom cuts, ground pork, sausage and bacon). I’ve had some of the sausage before and as a person who is very picky about meat, I’m happy to say it was absolutely delish. Plus, Father’s Day is coming up…

I’d get my mom a gift certificate to A Slice of Eden because of our mutual love of baked goods and sweet food. After all we are cake people, and their chocolate raspberry cake? Amazing. I’d also consider giving her a gift certificate to Birch Moon Boutique, because I can see her really enjoying the various unique jewelry and housewares they have.

And at 30 weeks pregnant, I wouldn’t mind getting a gift certificate to Eden Therapeutic Massage 🙂 Not only does she offer prenatal massages, she does Swedish and sports related massages, too! And another bonus with gift certificates- it allows people to do things in their own time, on their schedule (as opposed to someone just booking a massage for me and hoping it works out, yanno?)

A Deal for You!

If you make a purchase on Gift MDI, you can get 10% off using the code “SWEATANDSASS” in the promo code area at checkout! (You don’t actually have to use all caps- I am just very excited about offering people this deal).

So go ahead and shop local from the comfort of your own home. Gift MDI is good for you, good for business, and good for the community 🙂

If you’re interested in selling your gift certificates on Gift MDI, check out the seller info page and sign up!

Also, I highly recommend checking out the blog.

 

Local Love: Giving & Making a Living with Gift MDI
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